[C]ontrary to what popular advertising leads consumers to believe, it’s not necessarily as easy as it sounds to get your free credit score. Most companies that advertise a “free” credit score actually require you to sign up for a product that charges a monthly subscription fee to a debit or credit card after a free trial period.
These companies rely on a large percentage of their customers to neglect to cancel their subscription prior to the first month’s billing – at which point they end up recouping their cost of providing you the initial free credit score.
In order to truly get your free credit score, there are really only 2 options:
– Sign up for a service that provides your credit score upon enrollment, then cancel your subscription prior to the first billing, or
– Get denied for credit. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows consumers to be provided with a credit score, absolutely free of charge if they have had a recent credit application denied.
Obviously, this second tactic for getting your credit score isn’t ideal as it requires you to apply for credit, wait a few weeks to be denied, then request a paper copy of it which takes time to arrive.
The first tactic isn’t necessarily ideal either, but it does allow consumers to see their credit score immediately – and as long as they cancel their recurring subscription prior to being charged after a trial period – it ends up costing nothing.